The Baltimore Orioles have a trio of 25-year-old players who are on a tear in the 2017 season.
And, Mancini should seriously be considered for the 2017 Rookie of the Year award.
While other rookies have made splashy plays at various times throughout the season, Mancini has been consistent both at the plate and on defense. Because of this, he is deserving of recognition for having an impactful rookie year.
Mancini came out of the gates running. In April, he hit 5 home runs and had 12 RBIs in his first 16 games. He finished the month with a slugging percentage of .549. Mancini hit the same number of home runs as Schoop did in May while playing in seven fewer games that Schoop did. When the rookie ties the team’s top batter, it is worth noticing.
Hot hitting in May
Then, May arrived. Mancini proved that he could handle playing every day. He started in 20 of the 22 games he played in May. His slash for the month was .342/.398/.479/.877. He only hit two home runs in May and he added 12 more RBIs to his total. Mancini and Machado hit the same number of RBIs, but Mancini played in five fewer games and had 42 fewer at bats than Machado had.
Impressive June numbers
His June slash was just as notable as the one in May: .340/.383/.630/1.013. He hit 7 home runs and had 19 RBIs. He added six doubles and hit his first triple of the season, too. Mancini scored 13% of the Orioles’ runs in June. He had the same number of hits – 34 – as Schoop had in June. Otherwise, Schoop was the only batter who had more hits, runs, and RBIs than Mancini did in June.
Slowing down in July and August
Mancini slowed down a bit in July, but he still was one of the top contributors for the month. His batting slash was .265/.314/.418/.733. Those are still outstanding numbers for a guy seeing his first full season in the Major League. He hit 3 more home runs and 13 RBIs, putting him in fourth in the Orioles organization for the month.
Unfortunately, his slow July moved into August. Mancini’s slash for August was .269/.328/.491/.818. He hit 6 home runs and had 15 RBIs, as well as 4 doubles and another triple. Through his first five months as a regular member of the Orioles, he certainly proved that he can hit for power on a consistent basis.
It is the consistency at the plate that should put him in the Rookie of the Year conversation. But, the young player also offers plenty of flexibility in the field. He has played in the outfield and at first base. While Chris Davis was out, Mancini played first base in 40 games with a .990 fielding percentage. He has also spent time in left field. In 63 games at left field, he has a fielding percentage of .983. He’s played two games in right field. At all of his defensive positions, he has a fielding percentage of .988 with an overall range factor of 4.42.
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The American League competition
Mancini’s problem is that there are a few other rookies who play for teams that have more media attention. But, Mancini’s season stats are worth discussing. In the American League, he is in the top five in nearly every batting stat that matters. He is second in home runs, behind Aaron Judge. But, Judge has only three home runs in August. Judge doesn’t have the defensive flexibility that Mancini has.
The other name that is mentioned as an AL Rookie of the Year is Andrew Benintendi, who also shows up in the top five in many offensive categories. He has three more RBIs than Mancini, but Mancini has four more home runs. Mancini’s season slash is better than Benintendi’s, too. And, Benintendi has played both center field and left field, making outstanding plays all season long. Benintendi’s WAR on the season is 2.5. Mancini’s is 2.1. Judge’s WAR is 5.5.
Mancini has proven himself to be a beneficial addition to the Orioles. Even if he does not win the AL Rookie of the Year award, he is the ROTY in the hearts of the O’s fans.